Signs of spring are popping up all over Carson City, and with them come opportunities for residents to contribute their observations and experience to community science projects all over the world. Staff at the Carson City Library are excited to facilitate these contributions with help from a grant from the National Library of Medicine’s All of Us Research Program.
“The library has so many resources to help patrons get involved in worldwide scientific discovery right here at home,” said Maria Klesta, Carson City Library’s Creative Learning manager. “And along with our indoor resources, we’ll be looking at how we can use and update our outdoor areas to get more people involved in community science.”
Starting April 1 and continuing throughout the month, storytimes will be offered every Thursday introducing children to community science projects like those offered on NASA’s GLOBE Observer app. Children and families will find out how to track mosquitos, measure trees, upload their observations, and why these activities are so important. Registration for storytimes is available through the library’s calendar.
The library will also use grant funds to purchase backpacks Premiere Card patrons can check out and use in the library’s Secret Garden. The backpacks will be filled with resources patrons of all ages can use to identify plants and wildlife in the garden, and participate in local, national and international community science projects. Library patrons who don’t yet have a Premiere Card are encouraged to visit the library website for more information.
Additionally, adult patrons will be able to use the technology to contribute to the National Library of Medicine’s All of Us Research Program, which endeavors to make healthcare more accessible and tailored to each person.
SciStarter, NNLM, and the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program have collaborated with libraries and community-based organizations on Citizen Science Day in 2019, Citizen Science Month in 2020, the Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science program in 2020 and additional events and efforts leading up to and through Citizen Science Month 2021. This work introduces communities across the United States to All of Us and other featured citizen science efforts focused on health and environmental research, leveraging strategic partnerships with trusted community leaders like public libraries and local community-based organizations. All of Us is featured prominently in keynote events, where speakers connect citizen science projects to All of Us engagement priority areas and explain how members of the public can get involved in All of Us by signing up via https://joinallofus.org/nlm.